Being a Christian, I don't believe one should ever drink to get drunk, however I am not of the opinion that all alcohol is evil. God created the fruit of the vine, presumably for man's enjoyment; wine is the sign and symbol of the new Covenant in Christ. If alcoholism is a problem for present company, I will abstain to protect their conscience. Since it is not a stumbling block for me personally, I see no reason to abstain when surrounded by like-minded individuals.
My DH and I don't drink regularly - he doesn't like the taste of alcohol, and I can't stand the bitterness of beer, nor the harshness of hard liquor. I do, however, enjoy a smooth Merlot or sweet Zinfandel with social dinners. I also love the distinct flavour liquers give to desserts (ie. Tiramisu), which can't be achieved any other way.
I've been drooling over those recipes for quite some time. I hadn't thought of actually going out and purchasing my own liqueur for baking. My alcohol purchases were limited to some rum (high school; mixed with fresh-picked, mashed strawberries) and an occasional Merlot for my parents. I guess I was stuck in a pre-legal, living-with-parents mindset. Stocking a liquor cabinet was my Dad's domain; if I needed 2T of Brandy for my chocolate truffles, I'd just ask him. Unfortunately, living 12k away isn't conducive to borrowing ingredients... I had to bite the bullet and go to the LCBO; I had to start my own liquor cabinet.
DH, not being a drinker, isn't too impressed that I'm interested in baking things with an alcohol content. He likes my Tiramisu, but says he would prefer it without the bite of alcohol. The cost is another thing he could do without (my DH is a very practical man ;P ). I have to admit that paying $15 for less than a litre of certain liqueurs was rather difficult. I reasoned that I only needed a small amount for each recipe, so although the initial cost was quite high, replacement costs would be spread out.
I Googled "stock your bar" or something similar, and found a few well laid out sites detailing the good options for starting your liquor cabinet - The Webtender & Drink Boy. I was mainly concerned with baking supplies, so I didn't need most of the harder stuff like Gin, Tequila or Whisky. I did, however, have a number of recipes that required Brandy, Rum, Orange Liqueur, etc.. So off I went to the Rideau LCBO (one of the largest ones in the area), where I spent over half an hour perusing the aisle, trying to figure out which liqueur, which brand and which size. I tried to limit my selcetion to the smallest available bottle for now, so DH doesn't think I've gone off the deep end ;) Unfortunately, that means I'm paying a bit more per mL, but until I know what I use most often, I think that's the best idea. In hindsight, the bottle of Kahlua I picked up was far too small, so I'll have to get the next size up, at least.
I've decided to keep track of my modest liquor cabinet, so I can quickly reference it while browsing for recipe ideas, and keep track of what I want to buy, or have run out of.
(Category, <--- Notes, Currently Have, Want to Buy)
Brandy <--- Truffles
St. Remy Napoleon
Marsala (sweet) <--- Tiramisu
Sperone Cremovo Fine
Marsala (dry) <--- Tiramisu (old)
Sperone Fine I.P. Fine
Appleton Estate <--- Not fond of it
Coffee Liqueur <--- Tiramisu
Kahlua - running low
- buy at least 750 mL, $26
Crème de Cacao
Crème de Menthe
Cherry, Maraschino Cherry